The widow has an ugly and lazy daughter, Pechmarie, and a beautiful and hard-working step-daughter, Goldmarie. Because Pechmarie is her real daughter, the widow clearly favors her and makes...
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The widow has an ugly and lazy daughter, Pechmarie, and a beautiful and hard-working step-daughter, Goldmarie. Because Pechmarie is her real daughter, the widow clearly favors her and makes Goldmarie do all the work. Poor Goldmarie must also sit and spin all day by the well until her fingers bleed. When she tries to rinse out the spindel, it drops into the cold water. Her unsympathetic step-mother tells her to jump in after it. Goldmarie does as she is told, and then wakes up in the middle of a beautiful field of flowers. This is the land of Frau Holle, who welcomes Goldmarie and invites her to stay, as long as she will help with the housework. Marie stays and serves Frau Holle gladly, until she suffers so terribly from homesickness that she asks to go home. Before bringing her back, Frau Holle rewards Marie with a shower of gold. Upon her return, Goldmarie and her gold are welcomed by her greedy step-sister and -mother. Hoping for the same kind of reward, the step-mother sends ... Written by
DEFA Film Library
"Frau Holle" is a German fairy tale from the famous Brothers Grimm and here we have one of the more known film adaptations of this one. It is from 1963, so already 53 years old and it is a DEFA film, which means it is from the German Democratic Republic. Like many other of the country's fairy tale adaptations, this is relatively short, stays slightly under the 60 minute mark. The director is successful GDR filmmaker (also for more serious films) Gottfried Kolditz and he worked also on the script together with Günter Kaltofen, the GDR's most successful fairy tale film writer probably. The cast is predominantly female and includes also actresses that appeared in other GDR fairy tale films, such as Karin Ugowski, who is in her 70s today and still acting occasionally. About the story, I guess there is not too much to say. People who consider seeing this have certainly heard of the tale of Frau Holle with the hard-working girl and the lazy girl and the challenges they are posed by Frau Holle and of course the reward they are eventually getting. Even if you could see a political, communistic message in here that only the hard-working will be rewarded in the end, it is still a fairly unpolitical movie I guess and it is refreshing to see this from the GDR, a country that certainly does not have so many good films sadly and a big part of the country's résumé is also somewhat propaganda stuff that is not worth seeing. But the GDR's fairy tale films are pretty much top-notch and this was an entertaining watch as well. The story is close enough to the original, the acting is okay and it's definitely on the charming side and they did good in keeping it short and essential and keeping it from becoming bloated. If there is anything to criticize here, then this would maybe be the visual side. Frau Holle offers possibilities that many other fairy tale films do not offer in terms of making it a visually impressive watch (the cloud world, the pouring of gold etc.), but these have definitely not been fulfilled. It is underwhelming to that regard. But all in all, the good outweighs the bad and I recommend checking it out. Thumbs up.
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